Alabama Power reservoirs on Coosa, Tallapoosa impacted by dry conditions | Environment
Extremely dry conditions have recently developed across many parts of Alabama and are having a significant impact on Alabama Power reservoirs. Many streams that feed Alabama Power lakes are approaching record low levels of flow for this time of year, particularly in the Coosa and Tallapoosa river basins.
Since late last year, Alabama Power has taken a number of steps in preparation for dry conditions normally associated with La Nina weather events. Among them:
• The company received a variance from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to temporarily raise the winter level at Lake Martin by 3 feet.
• The company received a variance from The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to raise Lake Harris earlier than normal.
• As conditions worsened over the last three weeks, Alabama Power has taken additional steps to try and fill our lakes, including:
1. The company has significantly reduced hydro generation releases in an effort to preserve as much water as possible in the lakes.
2. The company is reducing its flows to the Alabama River by 20% in coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
3. The company has requested FERC approval for a reduction in required minimum flow releases from Jordan Dam on the Coosa River.
Alabama Power will continue to work with federal and state agencies to monitor the developing drought conditions and develop responses that protect water quality, wildlife and navigation to the fullest possible extent. The involved agencies include FERC, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and the Alabama Office of Water Resources. The company will work to keep lake communities, the public and others informed about dry conditions and their impacts on its hydro operations.
Even with these efforts, all of Alabama Power’s lakes on the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers may not reach full pool by the beginning of summer. Lake Harris is the primary concern for filling because of extremely low flows in the upper Tallapoosa.
People with boats and other water-related equipment and facilities should be alert to conditions on and below Alabama Power reservoirs, and take the necessary steps to protect their property.
For the latest on lake levels and Alabama Power’s efforts to manage these dry conditions, visit www.alabamapower.com and click the "Lake Conditions" link on the left side of the page. Information can also be obtained by calling Alabama Power's automated Reservoir Information System at 1-800-LAKES11 (1-800-525-3711).
Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), provides electricity to more than 1.4 million customers across the state.
Information Source: Alabama Power
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